March 01, 2014
Dark Fiber Week in Review
By Rory J. Thompson
It was an interesting week in the dark fiber arena as growth continued apace, but not in ways you might expect.
For example, just when you thought you've heard the last of Edward Snowden, another consequence of his actions manifests itself by affecting the IT industry. This time around the impact will be much bigger as the president of Brazil Dilma Rousseff and the European Union agreed to lay an undersea communication cable from Lisbon, Portugal, to Fortaleza, Brazil. This move was primarily based to cut Brazil's reliance on the United States for its cable communications to Europe, but the impetus for the $185 million cable project was Edward Snowden and the activities he divulged about the NSA. According to Reuters (News - Alert), President Rousseff, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso agreed in principle to carry out this project during an EU-Brazil summit in Brussels February 24. Brazil's president said the concept of the Internet, which is based on neutrality, should remain neutral and the only way to guarantee that is by removing the control the United States has over the trans-Atlantic cable system Brazil depends on.
On a more positive note, it was announced the U.S. Defense Department recently awarded an over $3 million order to Windstream (News - Alert) to supply two U.S. military bases, Fort Knox in Louisville, Ky., and Red River Army Depot in Texarkana, Texas, with upgraded fiber networks. Under the terms of this 36-month contract, Windstream’s new fiber connections will provide both military bases with a faster and more reliable network. It will also offer them four times more bandwidth as compared to their current network. Covering over 100,000 acres, Fort Knox is the current home of the Army Human Resources Center of Excellence. Often recognized as one of the largest ammunition storage facilities for the United States Army, Red River Army Depot provides maintenance support for mine-resistant ambush protected vehicles and high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles.
On the civilian side of the business, Fiber to the home broadband connections (FTTH) is the next generation of technology that promises to bring one gigabit per second speeds to homes. These optic cables are designed to send different kinds of digital data through the same cables which means users can get their phone, TV and Internet from the same cable. The best part is that it is much faster and more efficient than the existing copper coaxial cables, so users can enjoy better quality digital information for pretty much the same price. Many cities in the US are now connected to the FTTH network as service providers beef up their infrastructure. The latest cities to join this bandwagon are from the state of Mississippi, namely, Ridgeland, Batesville, Clinton, Corinth, Hattiesburg, Hor Lake, McComb, Quitman and Starkville. These cities will be served by C Spire Wireless, a company headquartered in Ridgeland, Mississippi. With more than 900,000 customers in this region, C Spire plans to increase its customer base with this new service that is likely to become operational later this summer.
There is always new news about dark fiber, so be sure to check back with us every day.
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